I have the pleasure this morning of speaking with the Federal Bar Association in Utah. The keynote address is entitled “Dangerous Times for the Least Dangerous Branch: The Supreme Court in the Age of Rage.” Ironically, the topic was selected months ago, but the recent leaking of the draft opinion on abortion and doxing of justices adds a particularly menacing element to the topic.
Last night, the Utah FBA started the conference with an extraordinary event at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Ivins, Utah. Tuacahn is an amazing community for the performing arts. It is located in the mouth of the Padre Canyon next to Snow Canyon State Park.
The event featured some of the artists performing at the Center, including local children. It was an incredible performance. I was not aware until last night that this 42,000 acre center is sitting on the land of Orval Hafen, the grandfather of my friend (and Utah FBA president) Jonathan Hafen. It is an incredible legacy for the Hafen family that has created a world-class artistic center outside of St. George, Utah.
The event also featured a wonderful speech on “How to Support and Defend the Constitution in Our Toxic Political Climate” from Judge Tom Griffith, who has returned to private practice and is lecturing at Harvard Law School. His speech was a tour de force on importance of civility and compromise in our democratic system.
Today will feature an array of impressive features including various federal judges and the renowned Supreme Court litigator Carter Phillips from Sidney Austin.